Web Redesign: Your Site Is Already Out of Date

Trying to get a new, current website launched is about as futile as writing a book about the state of the Internet. As soon as you’ve published, it’s completely out of date.

However, the web is a lot more flexible than a printed piece. You can make changes on the fly, adjust content and adapt code. But you have put that capability in place BEFORE the site launches.

Flexible Design: make sure that your graphical layout is one that will flex and bend with the inevitable changes of your site. Consider images and layout as parts and pieces you can drag into and out of the site as changes are necessary. Textual content should be easily modified. Avoid building a site that looks visually stunning but is completely rigid and requires a total overhaul to update.

Flexible Programming: adding new tools, widgets and features should be simple and painless. Your programmer/developer/vendor should be prepared to make changes almost immediately after the site has its official launch. You should also build the need for inevitable changes into your plans for the next two weeks to six months. After that? Start thinking about your new site while you keep the current one…well…current.

Administrative Buy-In: pre-load the expectation among staff, volunteers and partners that the site will be fluid and flexible. This is an important step in mediating confrontation about changes after the site is up.

A website is never really “done” as far as I can tell. Enjoy your launch celebration, but remember that the work is only entering a new and different phase.

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